Author Archives: Rachel

Impacts of Nature on Our Lives

Benefits of Nature on Our Lives

Nature is essential to our daily lives. It provides food on our table, clothes we wear, foundation for medicines and mental health benefits.

Research reveals that our environment can increase or reduce our stress levels, which in turn impacts our bodies health. What you are hearing, seeing and experiencing around you is impacting your mood, nervous system, endocrine system and immune system.

When you experience the stress of an unpleasant environment it can cause you to be anxious, sad or helpless, which is turn can elevate your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. In addition, this stress can contribute to suppressing your immune system.

A pleasing environment reverses this negative impact on your body and mental status.
Nature Helps Maintain Good Health

nature lovers coffee mug with deer sceneVenturing out into nature or even just viewing nature scenes can help reduce fear, anger and stress and thereby increase pleasant feelings. Research done in offices, schools and hopitals has shown that just a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on one’s stress and anxiety.

Nature Soothes and Helps Heal

Nature has been shown to help us cope with pain. When out in nature we find ourselves absorbed by the scenes of nature and distracted from out pain and discomfort, be that physical or mental.

In one study 95% of the people interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside. They reported they changed from depressed, stressed and anxious to more calm and balanced. Other studies by Ulrich, Kim, and Cervinka show that time in nature or viewing scenes of nature are associated with a positive mood and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness and vitality.

Time spent in nature gives us a break from our overactive minds, thereby refreshing us for our other daily tasks.

Nature and Children

With regards to children, Andrea Taylor’s research on children with ADHD shows that time spent in nature increases their attention span later.

Today, children have a lack of time spent in the natural world. Most of their time is spent in front of the TV or computer screen. Unsurprisingly, this environment has been associated with depression in our children.

Nature and Poverty

Another study at the University of Illinois suggests that residents in Chicago public housing communities who had trees and green space around their building reported knowing more people, having stronger feelings of unity with neighbors, being more concerned with helping and supporting each other, and having stronger feelings of belonging than tenants in husing without trees. In addition to this greater sense of community, they had a reduced risk of street crime, lower levels of violence and aggression between domestic partners, and a better capacity to cope with life’s demands, especially the stresses of living in poverty.

Experience Nature

So, experience nature whenever you can, even if it is just enjoying an image of nature while relaxing and drinking your morning coffee. Also, consider hanging paintings of nature scenes in your home, at your office or even in your children’s classrooms.

Fun and Popular Backyard Activities for Toddlers

Ozark Trail Big Cabin Tent with Electrical Access Port.
Ozark Trail Large Cabin
Tent with Power Ports.

Camping is a lot of fun for many people. But, having some of the comforts of home like electricity makes it even more fun. Many camping tents today come with electrical cord access ports to make it easy to bring electricity from a campsite or a generator into your tent.

Popular Backyard Activities for Toddlers

It has been said that the early years of a child’s life is important to developing lifelong skills. If you are the parent of a toddler, this means that you will want to instill good habits in them early on. One of those good habits may involve love for the outdoors. While paying outdoors is fun, it is also great way to stay healthy and fit. That is why you may want to start encouraging your child to play outdoors. To increase their appreciation for the outdoors, you may want to familiarize yourself with some popular backyard activities, especially those that are designed with toddlers in mind.

When it comes to backyard activities, for toddlers, you will find that you have an unlimited number of options. The wide range of options is mostly due to their age. Unlike adults or older children, many toddlers are easy to please. This means that whatever backyard activity you organize for your toddler, it will likely be something that they enjoy. However, it is important to remember that toddlers are just like everyone else, after awhile they may get bored with the same activities. To prevent this from happening, you will want to familiarize yourself with a wide range of different backyard activities.

One backyard activity that most toddlers enjoy is playing on a swing set. Swing sets come in all different sizes and styles. Most swing sets not only have a swing, but slides, monkey bars, and more. If you do not own a swing set, you may seriously want to think about purchasing one. As previously mentioned swing sets come in a wide variety of different sizes or style. This means that you can purchase an expensive, elaborate swing set, or a plain one, for low price. What is nice about most swing sets is that they are able to accommodate children of all ages. This means that as your toddler grows, they should still be able to enjoy their swing set.

Swimming is another popular backyard activity that many toddlers enjoy. What is nice about swimming is that you do not have to have a full size pool. In fact, kiddie pools are a safe way for toddlers to swim. Kiddie pools are ideal for toddlers because they usually have less than two feet of water in them. As with in-ground and aboveground pools, there are also pool accessories that are available for kiddie pools. These accessories may include, but should not be limited to, swim rings, beach balls, and small floating toys.

Another popular backyard activity is playing in the sand. Sandboxes are not only fun, but they may help your child develop other skills, such as cause and effect. If you do not have a sandbox, you can easily purchase one. Like swing sets, sandboxes come in a wide variety of different sizes and styles. If you are looking for a small sandbox, you should be able to find one at your local department store. Many plastic sandboxes sell for around thirty dollars. Sandbox toys can also be purchased from most retail stores, often for a low price.

Coleman Montana 6 Person Tent with ePort for Electrical Access.

Coleman Montana 6 Person
Tent with ePort for Electrical Access.

Swimming, swinging, and playing in the sand are all fun backyard activities that you and your toddler can enjoy together. While your toddler may have fun playing with you, you may also want to give them the opportunity to play with other children. By contacting the parents of a child, the same age as yours, you could give your toddler a buddy to play with. In addition to being fun, play dates are also a great way to further develop your child’s social skills.

If you are looking for additional backyard activities or supplies, you may be able to find what you need online or at one of your local retail stores. For an affordable price, you should be able to find bubbles, water balloons, kites, balls, and t-ball equipment. These items may help to create a fun, but memorable backyard experience for your toddler.

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2000 Watt Predator Inverter Portable Generator For Portable Power

2000 Watt Predator 2000 Inverter Portable Generator for Sump Pumps, Camping, Tailgating, Home Emergencies.
Small Generators Portable Predator
2000 watt Inverter Generator
for Home Use, Power Tools,
Power Outage Backup and more.

So, you recently had a storm and power outage and didn’t have an alternative power source available for some lights, TV, Fridge or that ever so important cup of morning coffee. This handy little lightweight Predator 2000 Watt Portable Generator can give you enough power to have some of those comforts plus help you keep your electronic devices charged up for use.

Predator 2000 Predator Portable Inverter Generator Features

  • When you need a clean power supply for your sensitive electronics, the Predator 2000, 2000 watt portable inverter generator can keep you charged up and connected to the outside world.
  • Producing 1600 watts running and 2000 starting watts of power and weighing in at only 48 lbs., the 79.7cc Air-Cooled OHV gas engine will run 6.5 hours on a full tank (at 50% load) while providing two 120V AC grounded outlets and one DC-12V Two Pin Outlet.
  • Pair this small Predator generator up through parallel cables with another Predator 2000 and double your available alternative power.
  • Double mufflers design to keep your unit running quiet and smooth.
  • Low oil shut down capability.
  • Electronic Overload Protection.
  • Gasoline tank capacity: 1.2 Gallons
  • Engine: 79.7cc, Air-cooled OHV
  • Product Dimensions: 18.52″ High x 22.6″ Long x 12.61″ Wide.
  • Inverter technology offers stable power for all your electronic devices.
  • Fully enclosed high impact housing.
  • RV use with the optional RV Ready Parallel kit from Predator.
  • Affordably priced.

The Predator 2000 is a great little generator for a lot of alternative power uses. Take it camping with you for power, keep your sump pumps running to prevent flooding, keep life saving medical equipment functioning, carry on job sites for your small power tools that you need while working away from electrical outlets, use on your boat and so many other place where you need power.

View Your Options For Purchase of the Predator 2000 Portable Inverter Generator

All Terrain Wheel Cart Fits Honda EU3000is Generator

4 Wheel Cart for Honda EU3000is Generator. Shop All Terrain Wheel Kit that fits Honda Model EU3000is Generator with Solid Never Flat Tires.
Honda Model EU3000is Generator All
Terrain Wheel Cart fits EU3000is Generator

Add a wheel kit to your Honda EU3000is generator so you can pull it all around with you where you need it, even if it is just across your muddy yard. This versatile All-Terrain Wheel Kit is designed to fit most any yard terrain. The solid knobby tires make it easy to push your Honda EU3000is generator cart wherever you need to go.

A set of 10″ SOLID polyurethane tires eliminate the chance of a flat when you most need to move your Honda EU3000is generator to where you have a need for it. No need to worry about finding a flat tire from just sitting in storage.

This All Terrain Wheel kit comes with 2 industrial strength steel Axles, 4 powder-coated wheels with NEVER FLAT tires and heavy duty bearings, all necessary mounting hardware and installation instructions.

Maybe you are going out to help your neighboring hurricane victims and you know you will need an alternative power supply most of the time you are there. You will certainly need the all terrain feature of this wheel kit to get your Honda EU3000is generator around to be able to help yourself maneuver around and the victims in the area.

If you are a small framed female or an elderly person who can’t lift a lot of weight and just use your Honda generator at your house during power outages this wheel kit will allow you to easily move your portable generator around the area where you need it most without worrying about the weight of your EU3000is.

Never have to lift your portable Honda EU3000is onto your pickup truck bed again and make it easy on yourself to move it around a work site with this All Terrain Wheel Cart.

Ways To Use A Portable Generator

Most people only think of a portable generator when there is a power outage, particularly if that outage last for days. But, there are many other ways people use a portable generator.

Many building contractors use a portable generator to power all sorts of equipment on a jobsite. A brick layer may use the generator to power his concrete mixer. A framer may use his generator to power a compressor for power tools when building a house or a barn where utility power is not close by.

Homeowners use a generator to power sump pumps in their basement when there is a lot of rain threatening water damage during stormy weather.

You can use a small portable generator to run your electric outdoor grill to show off your skill at making that delicious barbeque for your family and friends. The same is true when you want to grill while tailgating at sporting events. While camping out with the family people use their generator to cook, keep lights and fans on, run a little electric heater, charge their cell phones and tablets, keep an outdoor cooler working and more.

Many use a small generator to run appliances in a recreational vehicle and also on a boat. Grill that fish and enjoy it while you are still on the boat enjoying the waves or calm waters of a lake.

Organizers and participants get power for all the gadgets, tools and appliances used off-road races with bikes and all-terrain vehicles that take place in deep forests with muddy trails and in sandy desserts.

As you can see the sky is the limit to provide alternative power where it is needed when you use a compact portable generator. Some are small and lightweight and can be carried easily or larger ones can be moved easily with an all terrain cart or wheels.

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All Around All Terrain Wheel Cart Fits Honda EU3000is Generator

Heavy Duty Car Travel Inflatable Air Bed Mattress For Sleeping In Your Car, SUV Back Seat, Cargo Area

Car Air Bed Inflatable Mattress Back Seat Cushion with 2 Inflatable Pillows.
Inflatable Air Bed Mattress for
Car Backseat with 2 Pillows.

Sleeping in the back seat of your car, SUV, Truck or Minivan can actually be comfortable and fun. If you are camping and want to sleep in a more protected area, off the cold ground then an inflatable air mattress is a great way to sleep comfortably in the back seat of your vehicle.

The inflatable air mattress shown to the left is durable and strong, yet has a soft and comfortable texture feeling and with an added element of comfort from the two inflatable pillows that come with it.

Many of the back seat mattresses have a safety block for preventing children and pets from falling into the gap between the front seats of the vehicle.

Inflatable Travel Holiday Camping Car Mattress Back Seat Mattress Bed Cushion for Car, Extended Cab Pick Up Truck.

Mattress for Back Seat of
Car, SUV, Extended Cab Pick Up Truck.

Another great use for these inflatable air bed mattresses is just for a child or pet’s comfort while traveling on long trips.

If you have an older pet whose joints are arthritic then an air mattress will make their ride so much more comfortable. Plus, the mattress gives them more space to stretch out and not risk being thrown into the floor board area on a quick stop.

The mattress shown to the right inflates and deflates quickly and when not in use can be folded and packed away neatly. This package includes one inflatable air bed, two inflatable pillows, one inflator pump and one glue repair piece.

This air mattress is environmentally safe and is suitable for most cars, SUVs and Truck backseats.

Heavy Duty Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Car Inflatable Bed SUV Back Seat Extended Mattress.

Heavy Duty Inflatable Air Bed
for Your Car, SUV, Truck Back Seat.

Many customers report that not only does an air mattress like these make their pet’s ride more comfortable but also helps protect their car seats from the dog’s paws and toenails.

This high quality heavy duty PVC made car travel inflatable air bed mattress is soft and comfortable with a micro-fluffy feather-feeling surface.

Supports up to 800 lbs. in weight and will increase the quality of your sleep and help eliminate fatigue. The black color may fit with the color of your car’s interior better.

Inflatable SUV Air Bed Mattress for Back Cargo Area.

Inflatable SUV Bed for
Back Cargo Area Sleeping.

Not only is this air mattress bed great for sleeping in your SUV’s cargo area it is perfect for the putting out on the sand of the beach, on the grass for outdoor concerts, tailgate parties, sporting events and most any place you need a comfortable place to sit or lie down.

Nine proof points for average distribution of airflow help avoid the uneven airflow inside the mattress of this air bed cushion.

A built-in inflatable pillow adds to your resting comfort.

Comes in blue / gray or green / gray colors.

Easily wipes clean with damp cloth.

Inflatable Air Bed SUV Mattress Bed for Cargo Area.

Inflatable Air Bed SUV
Mattress for Cargo Area.

Here is another popular air bed mattress for your SUV cargo area. The body of this inflatable air bed cushion has 3 fold points that allow you a lot of flexibility in it’s use.

The head and side arm rests provide a nice snug fit in the cargo area of your vehicle which helps prevent sliding around of the mattress.

This air bed for your SUV has a reversible plus material with double-sided flocking and is cold-resistant at 25 degree centigrade below zero.

This air mattress for SUV can be inflated fully and deflated quickly within 2 minutes of your time.

Maximum size of expansion is 71 inches x 51 inches.

Coleman Packable SUV Twin Quickbed for Tent Camping Mattress in your Cargo Area of your SUV.

Coleman Packable SUV
Twin Quickbed Mattress Cargo Area.

Make the back of your vehicle a cozy, safe place to sleep while camping or traveling. There is a soft plush top for your all night sleeping comfort.

Airtight System that is guaranteed not to leak and the Double Lock Valve allows this air bed to deflate and inflate quickly. The Wrap ‘N’ Roll Storage System make packing your bed away a matter of folding it, rolling it and storing it.

Mattress adjusts to 41 inches wide by 63 inches long.

It is worth keeping this packable air mattress in your vehicle just for those emergency situations where you are stuck on the interstate in traffic for hours on end.

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An In Depth Look At Cat Breeds

When camping out or traveling you may want to sleep in your car backseat in order to save money or just be off the ground when camping.

An inflatable air bed mattress that is designed for just that purpose expands the sleeping surface you have in your backseat to make a comfortable sleeping area.

There are also inflatable air beds that fit in the cargo area 0f an SUV that can give you even more comfortable sleeping arrangements.

An In Depth Look At Cat Breeds

Over the last thousands of years, cats have pretty much handled their breeding themselves. In the beginning, they were used for one purpose – hunting and killing rodents. As the years progressed, we began to breed cats more to our liking. Now days, there are several different breeds of cats – which you can tell if you look closely.

These days there are over 70 distinct cat breeds, which are recognized through cat registries. There are several registries that will recognize around 40 breeds or so, as they exclude the more domestic breeds such as tigers. There are also many variations as well, including wild cats that have longer hair.

There are some cat breeds who have roots going back quite a bit in history. Some Japanese breeds, such as the Japanese Bobtail, can be traced back more than 1,000 years in history. These cats were very common and well known throughout Medieval Japan. Now days though, they are all but a myth throughout Japan and the entire world.

The more common cat breeds that are found in North America include the alley cat, long haired cat, and Persian cat. Siamese cats are also common, although they are well known to be destructive and to have a foul temper. Persian cats are very popular, proving to be loving companions. Persian cats can be very expense, depending on where you get it and what type of Persian cat it is.

Alley cats are the most common in North America. There are actually several different breeds, although most of us just refer to them as alley cats. They make good pets, although there are literally thousands of them in existence. Cats are known to breed more than any other pet, and they will continue to breed until they are stopped. Alley cats are among the most bred, as there are hundreds of thousands of cats that are homeless – and have nothing to do but breed.

The look of the cat is the easiest way to tell what breed he or she may be. Some people choose to go by color, although color isn’t as easy to identify. Different breeds of cats have different looks, such as the Siamese and Persian cats. Siamese cats are almost always black, and easy to identify by their color and their eyes. Persian cats on the other hand, are easily identified by their body type and their hair.

Over the years, there has been quite a few breeds come along. Cats were one of the first pets, and easily one of the most popular. Millions of people around the world own cats, with many people preferring a cat over any other pet – including dogs. No matter breed of cat you get – you’re sure to get a pet who make for a great companion for years and years to come.

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The Fun of Fishing and Camping Out In Your Tent

Tahoe Gear Olympia 10 Person Family Camping Tent with Electrical Power Access Port.
Tahoe Gear Olympia 10 Person
Tent with Electrical Access Port.

A few comforts of home that electricity can give you are nice to have when outdoors enjoying your camping tent. Tents with electrical access ports allow you an easy way to bring an electrical cord from a portable generator or campsite electricity into your tent.

You can power lights, charge your electronic devices, have a little heater, brew that cup of morning coffee, etc. in your tent when you have tent access port to easily bring some electrical power into your tent.

Learning To Fish: It’s Fun!

Fishing is a fun and tranquil sport that lets you spend quiet time with your friends, family and with Mother Nature.

Fresh water fishing is a sport involving the catching of fish in lakes, rivers and streams. It involves a lot of patience, challenge and a lot of acquired skill over time. Anyone can participate in this fun activity, including the kids.

To start, you have to check your State’s fishing requirements and make sure if a license is needed for you to fish. If it is required, you must acquire one by checking with a sporting goods store. They will help you how to get it, and some will even provide it for you.

During the time that you are in your favorite sporting goods store, you can look around and buy the right fishing equipment that you will be need for your trip. Considering that you are a beginner, make sure that you budget well the cost and your spending on the equipment, not deciding on expensive equipments; buy only the basic things you will need.

When in doubt as to what is needed, ask the help of the store keeper, but do keep in mind that you need to stick to a budget. Take your time and don’t hesitate to ask how to use each piece of equipment that is offered to you. Artificial lures for bait can be used or you can simply look for worms from your back yard.

An inexpensive fishing rod and reel will be enough along with a fishing line, hooks, weights, a bobber (this keeps your line afloat), fishing lures and net. A polarized sunglass is also essential, as it will help to see clearly through the water and lessen the glare.

Then if you don’t know the good locations to fish, ask about local “hot” spots, or check your State’s fishing regulations for information about fishing locations around your State.

The time will surely come when you will be a better fisherman; then you may decide on upgrading your equipment. In the meantime, keep things simple.

It is always advised that you avoid fishing alone. Always be with a friend, as when emergency strikes, there can be someone who can call for help.

It is wise to start fishing in shallow waters. Aim your cast in shady or rocky areas where the water is deep, as this is where the fish is expected to be found. Keep in mind that this is all practice first.

As your skill level develops and increases, you can then attempt into deeper waters. But before going, take the time to practice casting to familiarize yourself with your rod and your reel.

Tahoe Gear Gateway 12 Person Family Camping Tent with Electricity Power Access Port.


Tahoe Gear Gateway 12 Person
Tent with Electricity Access Port.



What better place to practice than your own back yard. To do so, mark off an area using a rope and use this as your guide in aiming your cast. Rehearse and study your movements to discover a method that will work for you. Bear in mind, cast with your wrist, and not with your arm. You might even choose to pitch your tent and practice camping out over night in your back yard as well.

Fishing hooks are very sharp and needed to be handled with care to avoid injury. Before casting, it is important that you should look around you and stay unobstructed to avoid hurting other people with your hook.

When the right time has come and you go fishing for real, keep in mind to cast your line always ahead of the fish, making your bait land slowly, with as little splash as possible. The fish will see well at a close point, but cannot see behind.

If your casts are going in a disorganized manner, move closer to the water so you can gain better accuracy.

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Inflatable Air Bed Mattress and Relieving Stress Fractures to Avoid Back Pain

Heavy Duty Car Travel Inflatable Air Bed Mattress.
Heavy Duty Car Travel
Inflatable Mattress for Backseat.

Sleeping in your car or SUV backseat can be very comfortable with an inflatable air mattress made to fit the backseat of most automobiles.

Most of these inflatable air mattresses have soft and textured tops to add to your comfort level. Many people use these just to make long trips with their children more comfortable. Also, they are great for travel with older pets.

Relieving Stress Fractures to Avoid Back Pain

You can relieve back pain if stress is affecting a fracture. The zones you want to focus on are the femur, patella, tibia, fibula, tarsus, and the metatarsus. Fractured bones to be precise are broken bones. The bones however are detained and held in tact by surfacing tension, as well as tissues that surround the bone. Fractures occur when the muscles are overexerted.

Many people are at risk of fractures, especially those who overexert the muscles while exercising. Some people strive to loose weight and fit in a bikini, accordingly these people may workout 7 hours in a day, which is overexerting the muscles. What these people fail to realize is that the muscles need rest, and that working out 30 minutes daily will help you loose weight.

Overexerting the muscles is one of the leading causes of fractures. To spot the problems doctors will use X-rays, bone scans, and so on. Fractures can worsen if left unattended. In short, if you injure the area and fail to seek medical assistance, your problem could worsen. While the body has elements that heal through a natural process, nature is interrupted as we age, which leads to slow healing. If you have sustained a fracture, it is wise to avoid workouts that overexert the muscles. It depends on the bones, i.e. if the elongated bones are fractured; you want to avoid overexerting the muscles up to eight weeks at most.

Fractures can affect the muscles. The muscles skeletal structure is made up of elongated threads of fiber. The fibers assist the muscles by supporting contractions and shortening, which joins the ending attachments. Tissue sheaths enclose around the fibers, which shape specific muscles. Within the muscles, blood will smooth out traveling over the muscles, which the blood will then spread out to the fasica and/or epimysium. The blood travels to the bundles of fasciculus, endomysium, nuclei, fibers and cells, etc.

Damage can occur to the muscles and tissues named. Damage includes complete and incomplete tears. Prolific bleeding may occur if the muscles are completely torn. The muscle damage can be treated with R.I.C.E, i.e. bed rest, ice packs, compression packs, and elevation. You will need to visit your doctor as well.

If the muscles are incompletely torn, likely sections of the sheath are interrupted as well. The injury is also treated with bed rest, ice packs, compression packs, and elevation.

Other tears occur in the muscles, which include intramuscular tears. The tear causes squander to enter the muscles, or blood and travel to the tissues. Fluid is restricted. The condition causes tenderness, and pain. Mobility is limited from this condition, which is in medical terms known as “intramuscular haematoma.”

If you are diagnosed with this condition, you will need bed rest, ice packs, compression packs, elevation, yet you should challenge the muscles in a couple of days. In other words, start moving around after you have rested in a couple of days.

Inflatable Travel Air Mattress for SUV Vehicle Cargo Area.

Inflatable Air Bed Mattress
for SUV Cargo Area.

Failing to do so will lead to worse conditions. Muscles can reduce contractions, which makes the muscles stiff and scar if movement is not applied. Calcification interchanges with the pannus. The results lead to joint subluxation disorders when calcification does not interchange. Calcification is irregular solidification, which can cause swelling and stiffness of the joints. In some instances, intramuscular haematoma can create calcification. Calcification disorders will deposits of calcium salt to occur, which makes the muscles unchangeable and inflexible. Unfortunately, intramuscular disorders can heal slowly, and sometimes surgery is necessary to correct the condition.

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Herb Gardening Is Becoming More and More Popular

Taking your regular sleeping pillow with you when you go camping or travel just takes up too much room. But, to sleep comfortably you need a pillow.

Consider an inflatable pillow or compressible pillow which takes up little room in your luggage or gear bag.

These type pillows come in different sizes and colors, pack small, yet expand large for your sleeping comfort.

Herb Gardening

Herb gardening is becoming more and more popular every day, and for a good reason. Herbs have practical value, serve a purpose, and with herb gardening you can actually use your plants. When most people think of herb gardening they automatically think of cooking, but herbs are also grown for their pleasant aroma and their beauty.

One important part of herb gardening is drying the herbs for use during the winter months, especially if you plan on cooking with them. First the tops of leafy herbs have to be cut, washed, and hung up for the water to evaporate. Then, tie stems together and hang up in a paper bag to dry. After two to three weeks they must be removed; crumble the leaves, dry them out in the oven, and store in a glass jar.

One of the most common herbs gown in herb gardening is basil. “Dark Opal” and regular green basil are beautiful additions to any garden and often used as decoration. Dark Opal has light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Basil isn’t just used for its looks; it is used for extra flavor in tomato juices and pastes.

Chives are very petite looking and resemble a blade of grass. They are much stronger than they look, however, and will grow well through a drought and a drought. Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect plant for herb gardening, especially if the gardener doesn’t want plants that require a lot of hassle. Chives are good used in salads, egg dishes, and many different sauces.

Mint is also very simple to grow and is good to use in mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is also good in herb gardening for its unique minty smell. Two herbs that appear in nearly everyone’s herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups, chicken, turkey, pork, and other sausages. Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb in all of herb gardening and is often used in candles, as a perfume scent, and to improve the smell in linen chests. The light purple flowers smell absolutely lovely.

Other types of herbs often grown in herb gardening include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used in pickles). Herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own garden for cooking, looks, and smell. Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, and are a lot cheaper.

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Handmade and Handcrafted Gift Ideas

Handicrafted Gift Idea: Make an Apron

If you are looking for a handicraft gift idea to make for someone special, perhaps that person would like an apron. When we think of aprons, we often think of mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen, but men can often benefit from having an apron as well. They often enjoy barbecuing, for one thing. They also can use an apron in the workshop. Children, too, can use an apron for many of their activities, such as arts and crafts. Here are simple instructions for making a handicraft gift of an apron that can be adapted for anyone.

Start with a piece of sturdy fabric suitable for the individual for whom you are making the handicraft gift. The fabric needs to be wide enough to wrap 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around them and long enough to cover them from collar bone to just above the knee. For a large adult, 25 to 30 inches wide by 36 to 40 inches long should be about right. A slimmer adult can use a narrower apron, but if they will be wiping their hands on the sides of it, they might appreciate the extra width. An apron for a child of 10 could start with a piece of fabric about 18 inches wide by 25-30 inches long.

The best types of fabric to use are sturdy cottons, such as medium weight denim or twill. Soft cottons such as broadcloth or muslin are all right in the kitchen, but will not last long, and would not hold up in the garden or workshop at all. Other materials you’ll need are thread and a sewing machine. You will also need enough extra fabric to make a strap to go around the neck, ties for the back, and pockets.

When designing the handicraft gift, you can be as creative as you like with pockets. Every apron is more useful with pockets. A person who cleans houses, for instance, can use pockets for odds and ends they pick up as well as for their spray bottles, sponges, and scrub brushes.

To make the apron, fold the piece of fabric lengthwise. This will allow you to cut the shape with one cut, making the two sides symmetrical. What you will be shaping when you make the cut will be the bib section of the apron. The bib for an adult sized apron will need to be about 9 inches wide. Measure from the fold about 5-1/2 inches. This is half the width of the bib plus an inch to fold under twice to form a hem. The piece you will cut off the side to shape the bib will be a half bullet shape with the tip of the bullet being where the ties will be attached. The length of the half bullet shape should be about a foot, and the width will be from the spot you marked 5-1/2 inches from the fold to the outside edge of the fabric. When these pieces are cut off, the result should be an apron shaped piece of fabric.

Now decorate the apron with pockets and any other decorations you desire. After this it is time to fold under the edges all around and stitch down with sturdy stitching for a nice hem all around the handicraft gift. Cut two pieces of fabric a yard long by two inches wide. Fold lengthwise and fold raw edges to the inside. Press and stitch down along the length to make the ties. Attach the ties at the waist of the apron handicraft gift. (If these ties seem a little long, it is because a lot of people like to bring the ties to the front and tie them there.) Cut another piece of fabric 18 to 20 inches long by 5 inches wide fold in half lengthwise and press. Press again with the raw edges of the long side tucked under 1/2 inch. Stitch down the open side. Attach this piece to the sides of the top of the bib, sewing it to the back of the bib and topstitching on the front side of the bib. Be careful not to twist it when you attach it.

People who work hard at homemaking, barbecuing and in the workshop will appreciate a handicraft gift of a sturdy apron. Mostly they will appreciate the effort and design you have put into making a handicraft gift that they can use.

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